Thursday, June 2, 2016

Smoke filled rooms

Donald Trump is the GOP candidate for President despite what Republican Party regulars want. Democrats are faced with infighting because the party choice, Hillary Clinton, is locked in battle with socialist Bernie Sanders. What gets unnoticed is that none of this would matter if the parties chose their candidates without public input through primaries and media debates. I wish that were true, that there were no primaries, no caucuses. I want a return to the old system of smoke filled rooms.

Don't be bothered by the quaint idea that the electorate has the right to choose their preferred candidates. It doesn't. The voting public has the right to choose from among whomever the parties select, or from among whoever runs as a candidate on their own. But the voters do not have the right to tell the political parties who to nominate.

Political parties are essentially private entities. They should not be public toys. Such a situation only lends itself to mischief. The parties will have forced upon themselves the occasional extremist who ends up 'representing' the GOP or the Democrats the Party itself doesn't want. Or, as is more prevalent, crossover voters who are actually either a Democrat or Republican voting in the wrong primary (so to speak) trying to get a poor nominee for their true party's candidates to run against.

Further, it weakens the ideology of the parties and thus is less likely to give voters a real choice at the general elections. We would be better off to have purely Republican candidates facing wholly Democratic candidates in general elections as party bonds would be tighter. As it is, we get watered down political philosophy in lieu of real and decided choices, real differences between among those running for office. We would get political parties with real teeth, because candidates would have to tow party lines rather than simply be individuals who don't really need to prove loyal to the cause of the group they purport to represent.

Voters have the right to select from among the candidates offered in a general election. They do not have the right to tell private organizations who should represent them. We need the parties working out details in smoke filled rooms.

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